The kind folks at Double Proficiency also sent me a review copy of the Wayfarer’s Deck: The Frozen Wilds. This is a 52 page pamphlet (available on Itch) designed to be printed and used like a deck of 50 cards, and used to generate random encounters, focused on cold terrain.
Essentially, this is a deck of 50 cards, that the GM draws from whenever they need an encounter. Each card contains a title, art, and a short two paragraph, stat free, scenario. I think this could be a cool way to mix up random encounters and get players engaged. Instead of asking them to roll a die and wait while the GM consults a chart, or watching the GM roll and consult, have them draw the card. They can show it to the others, pass it around, check out the art, and just get a little more into things than a simple die roll. I’m a big fan of props when available, and wish they offered them in a physical format. I can always print them, but I never really get it right.
I think I can see myself using them in a second way as well. I tend to run large hex crawls, and often need to populate hexes with interesting things. Sometimes its a big set piece encounter, like an encampment of trolls preparing for war, but sometimes I just want a little vignette to set the tone of the region, like a giant riding lizard with its leg stuck in a trap. These will work great for that. I can really see me just making a note on my hex key J7 – WD:TFW White Stag Pg. 29, and then moving on in my prep. When/if my players show up, I can break out that card and run the encounter from that. Their level of detail is right in line with what I usually write for myself to then improve the remainder of the scene from.
Aesthetically, the layout is fantastic (like their other products), and, they always do a great job of using space and art to make it readable and fun to look at. This is done in a style that reminds me of the old Beatrix Potter books I had growing up. Kind of a cool water color over stamped images look. Its a very neat.
Overall, I highly recommend the Wayfarer’s Desk. After reading this, and the Globetrotter’s Guide series, the Double Proficiency team has made it onto my list of TTRPG groups to keep an eye on. They make the sort of system agnostic, idea inspiring, stuff I love to horde as a GM.
**Update. Double Proficiency reached out and let me know they are working on getting physical copies through drivethrough rpg soon. So I’ll be able to get some cards.